Lesson Planning with Multicultural Students in Mind

Diversity  makes classrooms beautiful. This diversity, however, requires careful thought and attention in lesson planning. Here’s an example of planning a lesson with a multicultural student (Erica) in mind…

Name: XXXXXXX                            Date: March 18, 2009                      Grade level: 3rd           
Subject/topic: Contractions                 Length/minutes: 20-30 minutes          Group size: whole class
Sequence: ongoing
Standard/core: Utah Standard 8, objective 4, indicator a
Standard 8 Writing-Students write daily to communicate effectively for a variety of purposes and audiences.
Objective 4. Edit written draft for conventions.
a. Edit writing for correct capitalization and punctuation (i.e., capitals in holidays, titles, dates, greetings and closings of letters, personal titles, contractions, abbreviations).
Learning goal: Students will understand how to form contractions with the word not.
Erica is a high energy student who is constantly moving in her seat. Her family speaks Spanish at home, making English her second language (ELL student). Her English language skills are basic and her verbal language is stronger than her written. Knowing where the apostrophe belongs in contractions may pose a problem. In addition, she learns best with kinesthetic activities. Her favorite part of school is PE and is always the first one in line for recess. This lesson deals with contractions, a requirement for the Utah3rd grade state core.
Major concepts:
Contraction: a shortened form of two words; making two words into one.
Apostrophe: shows where letters have been taken out (in most contractions with not, it takes the place of O.) (Make sure to review what the word “contraction” means and what it looks like.)
Contractions:  is not – isn’t                       are not – aren’t                    was not – wasn’t         
were not – weren’t                        have not – haven’t               has not – hasn’t
had not – hadn’t                do not – don’t                      does not – doesn’t            did not – didn’t            
will not – won’t   apostrophe takes out two letters: n and o.
cannot – can’t      apostrophe- three letters disappear an the o changes position
Given a worksheet, students will be able to write the correct contraction form of the word with 80% accuracy.  
Self starter: none
Expectations: Sit and raise hands (no calling out) even when on the carpet; Students will focus on the topic; No sharpening pencils, getting out of seats going to the bathroom during the lesson.
Procedures: work with your table buddy; raise hands to speak.
Fast finisher: write a story using contractions on the back of your paper.
Instructional Strategies (contractions indicate speech)

Attitude OrientationYou probably already use contractions more than you realize. What are some common phrases that use contractions? (example: Don’t do that!) Put up a word card that says “contraction.” This will help Erica see the word I keep using. She will know how to spell it, and when she sees it in the future, she will remember this lesson.

Tell objective: “Today, are going to see how many contractions we can make. At the end, you’ll have to show me you can make contractions, so pay attention!”
Schema Orientation:
Invite students to come sit on the rug. Let Erica sit in the back of the group where she can sit on her knees or wiggle a little bit and not get in anybody’s way. Because she is a high energy student, this will help her be comfortable even though she has to pay attention to the lesson.
There are times when we do not want to say two whole words, so we shorten them and make a contraction.
Explain definition of contraction (making two words into one). Refer to the word cards to reinforce the new vocabulary.
Explain that an apostrophe (takes the place of missing letters) is used to shorten the words. Put up another word card that says “apostrophe.”
Let’s go over some of the most common contractions and see what they mean. Place word card pairs on the board. State two words and see if students can name the contraction before you put the card on the board. Have them think about the answer for a few seconds and then call on someone to give their answer. Instead of going over these common contractions orally, allow students to see the word cards. This will be especially helpful for ELL students like Erica. Be sure to give enough time for Erica to think. Since she is an ELL student she may need the extra time to think about it and make sure she knows how to communicate it effectively. By writing these on the board, Erica can see how they come together; she can see the pattern that the apostrophe takes place of missing letters.
Now let’s see if we can find some in this paragraph. Read the paragraph out loud (taking turns reading aloud). This will help Erica stay with the group when reading and help her hear how to pronounce the words she may not know how to say. Be sure it is clear how to say the contractions (Helpful for ELL kids).  Have students raise their hands when they think they see/hear a contraction. Then discuss what the contraction means/how to say it without using a contraction.
Now we have a game to play. Contraction Bases: Place signs with contractions around the room. Use the word cards from the beginning of the lesson to help you choose bases. Give students 5 seconds 5 seconds to choose a base to stand by. Then call out a few contractions. Students standing at that contraction base are out. Be sure to review what the contractions mean when you call them (example: can’t means cannot). Students who are out can help you choose the next bases to call.
This game will be especially appealing for high energy students like Erica. They can move around the room within the rules of the game. By adding movement like PE to the required content, Erica will enjoy the activity and be more motivated to participate. She will focus on the base she wants to run to, thus reinforcing the contractions. She can learn contractions while getting out some energy.
Model/Explain: Now that we understand contractions, let’s play our game. I have put contraction signs up around the room. By the time I count to 5, find a contraction base to stand by. Don’t move until I start counting. You must be frozen at a base by the time I’m done counting.  
            Check for understanding:
            As you call out words that form contractions (to get student out of the game), check to make sure students know the corresponding contraction. Have students point to the contraction that goes with the set of words.
Then play the game! Have students who are out sit at their desks and be “Freeze Police” that make sure everyone is at a base when you get to 5. You can also have students help choose the base. Start over after calling a few bases to let everyone participate. When students get out, they can help you choose a contraction to call. By letting Erica help choose a contraction when she gets out, she will have to find the contraction pair that goes with the one she picked. This can be a type of informal assessment and a way to keep her involved even though she can’t run from base to base.
Independent practice:
Have students go back to their worksheet and ask students to write the contraction that goes with each set of words. This assessment reinforces the content just taught. By having the words printed, Erica can more easily connect it to the word cards and bases signs we just used. Remind them about the fast finisher (write a story using contractions on the back of your paper). Be sure to give Erica and the other ELL students enough time to complete the worksheet. Be patient and encourage the other students to do the fast finisher so Erica has ample time to do the work.
Closure: Lead a class discussion about why people use contractions. When would you choose to use a contraction over a formal set of words?  
            Visual learners- word cards (ELL)
            Kinesthetic learners- active game (Erica’s high energy)
            ELL students- word cards with oral language (ELL)
Word cards
Large writing paper
Signs for game
Step 1: (Instruction and Management) What went well? What should be improved?
Step 2: (Student Learning) What did the children learn? How do you know?
Step 3: (INTASC and/or Moral Dimensions) Make a connection to INTASC and/or a Moral Dimension.

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